Dr Tom Nicoll
I first realised that a career in Psychiatry was right for me in the second year of my medical degree at Sheffield University, where I found myself drawn again and again to psychiatry sections of textbooks whilst studying for exams that didn’t yet include any psychiatry!
I didn’t always have aspirations involving psychiatry; I came into medical school with visions of being a surgeon. I quickly realised that I found conscious patients a LOT more fulfilling to work with. I enjoy having real conversations surrounding complex issues regarding all areas of a person’s history and the part that narrative plays in making us who we are.
I get a real joy from feeling like I am developing as a person and professional, as well as any opportunity that affords me the chance to help others do the same. This includes a childhood spent within the Scouting Organisation, several years as a Saint John Ambulance First Aider and multiple mentorship relationships through the years, with experience of being both a mentor and mentee.
I plan to use the Fellowship opportunity to continue to develop as a professional with a particular emphasis on taking opportunities to improve my leadership experience. I’m hoping to improve recruitment by increasing resources at a pre-university level, both educating students hoping to pursue medicine of the benefits of a career in psychiatry whilst also recognising and supporting budding future psychiatrists.
I suggest anyone considering applying for the Fellowship to go for it! Don’t be put off by feeling like you don’t have enough of an academic background at university as that’s not all the College is looking for. Enthusiasm, ambition and above all, a real passion to act as an ambassador for Psychiatry is just as valuable as having that 427th research paper accreditation under your belt. The Foundation Fellowship is for ambassadors, not just academics.